Leaving comes naturally to Eva Elliott: she spent her childhood abandoning schools and cities. Now she enjoys the thrill of saying goodbye much more than the butterflies of a first smile or kiss. There’s so much more potential in walking away, and Eva has always had a dangerously vivid imagination.

During a rainy summer in London, where Eva lives in a rackety Soho flat with her boyfriend, she dreams of exit strategies. She becomes fascinated by a golden eagle who has escaped the Zoo to roam the city, and thinks up stories about the ghostly figure of a girl who lurks in the window of a strip club opposite her office. When a beguiling stranger called Grace turns up in Eva’s life armed with a conspiratorial smile and a unsettling secret, Eva is left unsure what is in her head and what is reality.

In this haunting story about exits and departures, Anna Stothard reveals that love has its fault lines and freedom comes at a price.


“Stothard gets her talons into you…read it for its beguiling heroine and sparky prose.” Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler

“Anna Stothard’s third book, after the much-praised Isabel and Rocco and The Pink Hotel, confirms her talent: the prose here can be transfixingly good,” The Independent

“A stunningly accurate and chilling account of the acquiring of emotional wisdom, with vividly drawn characters,” Kate Saunders, The Times

“A witty, beguiling and increasingly poignant novel about the scars – physical and psychological – that make us who we are.” Stephanie Cross, The Lady

“I would recommend it to anyone who likes being told a very good story,” New Books Magazine

“Anna Stothard’s third novel cements her place as one of Britain’s best young authors… Stothard’s lush, dreamy prose is given full rein …” Kaite Welsh, The Literary Review